• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Research highlights
 Keeping tick-bourne diseases at...
 Developing new diagnostics for...
 Racing to build on canine influenza...
 Troubleshooting West Nile...
 Impacting lives through global...
 Charting new territory with immunodeficiency...
 Analyzing emerging viruses in marine...
 Studying mycoplasmas' key role...
 Advancing health of wildlife, endangered...
 Directory
 Giving opportunities
 Contact information
 Back Cover






Title: Emerging pathogens
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088918/00001
 Material Information
Title: Emerging pathogens
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Publisher: College of Veterinary Medicine,University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Florida
Publication Date: 2008
 Subjects
Subject: University of Florida.   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088918
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Research highlights
        Page 3
    Keeping tick-bourne diseases at bay
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Developing new diagnostics for Rickettsial diseases
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Racing to build on canine influenza discovery
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Troubleshooting West Nile Virus
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Impacting lives through global citizenship, epidemiology
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Charting new territory with immunodeficiency virus research
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Analyzing emerging viruses in marine mammals
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Studying mycoplasmas' key role in disease of humans, animals
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Advancing health of wildlife, endangered species
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Directory
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Giving opportunities
        Page 24
    Contact information
        Page 25
    Back Cover
        Page 26
Full Text





















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University of Florida Emerging Pathogens
College of Veterinary Medicine



Introduction ............................................. 1-2
Keeping Tick-borne Diseases at Bay ............. ................4
Developing New Diagnostics for Rickettsial Diseases ........................
Racing to Build on Canine Influenza Discovery ...........................8
Troubleshooting West Nile Virus ............. ....................10
Impacting Lives Through Global Citizenship, Epidemiology ..................12
Charting New Territory with Immunodeficiency Virus Research ................14
Analyzing Emerging Viruses in Marine Mammals ..........................16
Studying Mycoplasmas' Key Role in Disease of Humans, Animals ............18
Advancing Health of Wildlife, Endangered Species .....................20
Directory ............ .............................. 22
Giving Opportunities ............ ........ ... .............. 24
Contact Information ............. ..................Inside Back Cover


Infectious Diseases Clinical Environment












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University'fFloiCeI'O Vete r Me in Ici


B because many emerging
diseases that affect humans
originate in animals, the veterinary
medical profession has always
played a key role in every aspect of
disease management from
mechanisms and pathogenesis to
detection and epidemiology.
Veterinarians and veterinary
scientists are instrumental in the
development of dc i.ii.-. i: ,. and
effective treatments for and control
of diseases that affect both animals
and people.

At the University of Florida College
of Veterinary Medicine, the best
traditions of the profession are
implemented every day, not just in
research laboratories, but also in the
hearts and minds of the team of
scientists who work diligently to
shed light on emerging pathogens,
both well known and obscure, that
threaten human and animal health
not just one state or nation, but in
the world we all share.

At home and abroad, UF veterinary
researchers are making a difference.
For example, many emerging
diseases today are carried by ticks.
After two decades of working with
heartwater, a devastating livestock
disease caused by babesia and
spread by the African bont tick,
UF scientists are on the verge of
marketing an inactivated vaccine
even as the team works to develop
an even better vaccine through
genetic engineering. And while
heartwater affects cattle, sheep,
goats and deer -- not people -- tick-
borne afflictions such as Lyme
disease and African tick bite fever
do affect humans. The study of bont


ticks and their infection
and transmission patterns
may one day help control
other disease-carrying
ticks, potentially
improving health
outlooks for many
affected species.
Researchers investigating
tick-borne rickettsial
diseases, including
ehrlichiosis and
anaplasmosis, have
extensive backgrounds
working with the
infectious agent that
causes these diseases in
animals including dogs,
horses, cattle and sheep.
When the human
variations of ehrlichiosis
and anaplasmosis
emerged in the United
States and Europe in
recent years, UF's
veterinary infectious
disease team was primed
to study these diseases in
people due to their
familiarity with various
approaches to dc.i, i.-. i: ..i
in animals.

This important research
has included the
development of

Introduction continued on page 2


Dr Charles Courtney, associate dean for research and
graduate studies, and Dr Glen Hoffsis, dean of the college


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sophisticated dich.g.-.i- I:I tests
involving PCR-based methods and
new molecular approaches which
may be applied in order to pinpoint
human infections.

UF veterinary researchers made
headlines when, in conjunction with
Cornell University and the Centers
for Disease Control, they reported
that equine influenza virus had
jumped species into dogs and was
the likely cause of numerous racing
greyhound deaths in Jacksonville.
This research took a new and
alarming twist when the disease
now known as canine influenza
surfaced in the pet dog population
in 2005. Research into dch.(g.r i--: -
tests and vaccines for prevention of
infection and the use of antiviral
drugs to treat sick dogs continues.

In 2001, veterinarians at UF's Alec P.
and Louise H. Courtelis Equine
Hospital saw some of the first
Florida horses becoming infected
with West Nile virus, also a known
human pathogen. Prior to its arrival
in Florida, there had been fewer
than 100 cases of the disease
dch.g'i. ..'.1 in the United States. The
next year, 14,000 cases of West Nile
virus were 'ch.g' .-I-.1J in horses and
demand for UF's expertise kept
growing. Today, the UF College of
Veterinary Medicine operates
biosafety level 2 and 3 laboratories
and is able to study the disease in
horses and other species under high-
containment conditions. In just a few
short years, UF has become the leader
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focusing on relationships between
FIV and human AIDS is ongoing.
Emerging viruses in marine
mammals have become a focus of the
college's marine mammal program
with a new grant from the United
States Navy supporting UF's
research efforts. Collaborations
between UF, the Navy's marine
mammal program, the Hubbs-
SeaWorld Research Institute and
SeaWorld San Diego presently
support the effort to shed light on
such viruses in order to understand
their pathogenesis host range,
reservoirs and implications for
human and animal health.

The study of emerging mycoplasmal
infections in reptiles, food and fiber
animals and in people is also strong
at UF, enhanced by collaborations
with national and state regulatory
agencies, state parks and water
management districts. Previously
unrecognized disease outbreaks that
impact reptile and sea turtle
populations, along with other
threatened or endangered wildlife
species around the globe are
constantly being monitored by zoo
medicine disease experts at the college.

In this collection of stories, we
recognize and celebrate the important
work being done here at the UF
College of Veterinary Medicine in the
area of emerging pathogens, as well as
the role of the veterinarian and
veterinary scientist in these efforts.
We hope you will as well.

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T The College of Veterinary
Medicine at the University of
Florida, the state's only veterinary
college, offers comprehensive service
to the public through a fourfold
mission: teaching, research,
extension and patient care.
Following graduation of its first
class in 1980, the college has built on
the University's reputation for
excellence and is consistently
ranked in the top 10 of all U.S.
veterinary colleges by U.S. News
and World Report.

The college is unique in that it is
administered jointly by UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences and the Health Sciences
Center, with the Dean of Veterinary
Medicine answering to both the
Vice President for Agriculture and
the Vice President for Health
Affairs. Over half of the college
faculty hold both IFAS and
Health Sciences Center faculty
appointments. Organizationally,
the college is divided into four
academic departments.

The department of large animal
clinical sciences is responsible for
teaching, clinical service and
research involving diseases of
livestock, poultry and fish. Major
programs include animal
reproduction, food animal
production medicine, equine colic
and equine performance medicine.

The department of infectious
diseases and pathology is
responsible for teaching, clinical
service and research involving
pathology, molecular biology,
microbiology and parasitology of
animal diseases. Major programs
include tick borne diseases, EPM in
horses, the AIDS viruses of animals,
and mycoplasmal diseases.


The department also hosts the
college's comparative clinical
immunology program.

The department of physiological
sciences is responsible for teaching,
clinical service and research
involving basic physiology and
toxicology. Major programs include
environmental toxicology, forensic
toxicology, the neuroscience, and
respiratory and cardiac physiology.

The department of small animal
clinical sciences is primarily
responsible for teaching, clinical
service and research involving
diseases of pets and zoo animals,
but some work is performed with
livestock, primarily in the field
of ophthalmology.

In addition to the above four
departments, the college also is host
to the Center for Environmental and
Human Toxicology. Included within
this center are the analytical core
toxicology laboratory, the aquatic
toxicology facility and the
University of Florida Racing
Laboratory. The Racing Laboratory,
one of only 5 such internationally
certified laboratories in the U.S., is
responsible for conducting drug
screens on all horses and
greyhounds raced at tracks
throughout Florida.

The college also hosts the
university's marine mammal
program jointly with the
Whitney Laboratory.
This interdisciplinary program
supports research and training in
the care of marine mammals with
emphasis on manatees.










would be the best protection.


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And after two decades of working
with heartwater disease, the team is
on the verge of marketing an
inactivated vaccine even as it works
to develop an even better vaccine
with genetic engineering.

Heartwater is spread to livestock
and wildlife by bont ticks, natives of
Africa. The transoceanic tropical
bont tick has shown up in the
Caribbean, lurking just off Florida's
shores and making its arrival in the
United States possible.

Heartwater can kill up to 90 percent
of the animals it infects, decimating
an entire herd. The disease damages
the lining of blood vessels, allowing
fluid to accumulate in the lungs and
body cavities, and invades the brain,
causing an agonizing death for the
infected animal. The tropical bont
tick also is associated with acute
dermatophilosis, a disease that
causes the skin of cattle literally to
peel off. Michael Burridge, a
professor in the college's department
of infectious diseases and pathology,
said it is impossible to
underestimate the threat to U.S.
wildlife and livestock from the
tropical bont tick.

Burridge points out that many
emerging diseases today are tick-
borne. While heartwater affects
cattle, sheep, goats and deer not
people tick-borne afflictions like
Lyme disease and African tick bite
fever do affect humans. Studying
bont ticks and their infection and
transmission patterns may help in
controlling other disease-carrying
ticks, he notes.

Burridge has been horrified by the
ease with which exotic ticks travel.
In 1997, an injured tortoise from a


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reptile breeding facility in Central reassess the disease's threat to The UF Heartwater Research
Florida was brought to UF's Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. Program has spawned more than a
veterinary hospital for treatment dozen patents and attracted more
and, almost by accident, found to Another breakthrough has been in than $16 million in funding from the
be carrying exotic ticks. With the tick control. Burridge and colleagues U.S. Agency for International
United States responsible for more invented a bont tick decoy, which Development alone.
than 80 percent of world trade in can be attached to the ear or tail or
live reptiles in the 1990s, the threat worn as a collar around an animal's Burridge says he is perhaps most
of importing ticks via reptiles is neck. The small, plastic tag attracts gratified by the scope and
very real. ticks with pheromones then delivers completeness of the project.
a tickicide. The decoy lasts three
The tropical bont tick also could months and eliminates the need for "What we've done with this
jump borders by hitching a ride from ranchers to dip or spray whole heartwater project is unique in the
the Caribbean to Florida on a herds, which releases toxic world. We've taken a disease and
migratory bird, like a cattle egret. 1i-i, .,1 ,. into the environment, we've gone from the very basic
Southern climates are ideal for the science of understanding it at the
ticks which, with wild deer as a cellular level and moved on to
host, would be impossible to applied science and then on to
eradicate once they arrive. .-. iiri l. i -.L .-, L., [ ,. 1
p r, ,.Ili -, i .,'. I [ .I. ,,
The UF team of scientists has y.-- .. .,i a, lt .-u: u .I,
focused much of its research 2.,rp rII Ioinh Iil t.L tr I I Il i,
offshore, in Zimbabwe and South Lmmi r. l. I-.: 1 -.,l ,,.I,. i:
Africa. UF scientist Suman Mahan r he !, 11 I1i I iL l, c A.I.,
oversees the vaccine program in
southern Africa, where the
inactivated vaccine is undergoing Ii1is
final testing in collaboration with
Onderstepoort Biological Products
(OBP), an indigenous South
African vaccine company. OBP has
committed US$500,000 towards
this vaccine commercialization
project which will be completed b. .LIII I 1 L ,-
end of 2007. ,. i:l-i I h hj h

pCSi.,l:~.' C R,,.-..a also has yf ,o .1,.l .-.I,, i,,. .1 i_.-r.l i ,L LICIL p.-1A '.- lv A.-
advanced cl .,g ,-., : test I .-. .L ,.I V.-, 1 .l 1. L1 Au, ul.t; 1 t-,
heartwater. Previously, di ,- i.-- i: lin
heartwater required a dil I I.- l1i: .hr.I
costly brain biopsy. In a huge I- ,se I ...,c. ond lthe \ppi iG.rti
advance, the UF heartwater team .n i, .i,. it ; A. .L L tr, .lc
has developed two blood tests for il- %.I-l ir..i .-, .I I Ircc Ic ch
detecting the disease. USDA/APH: 1.-,, .,-1,I- .0I..-1I il- COPIL- hi-, n",.
has adopted one of these tests, the i., .i i : I: n, I ., I L -.AI. 1. FL PhL,rJ Itt Dr MI .hadl Burridt. plo, a IL ...a
pCS20-PCR, as the test for ..I ., I I r b,.,ir tick d~e .,, arIuind the nek ...ta l- I ,
heart after surveillance in the U.S 1. ii I:,- i .I I ., .. I I- I'. wai phtrmi, ara.. h.. I.. a, a .,.,,
three year USDA-T-Star grant has I I .. L ., TI I I. ,I a., pt.. J ,., .,,,.t j ,,l,, I,, .a .
been awarded to Mahan to assess decoy technology has been licensed body and kills ticks for at least three months.
the current distribution of to Insect Science of South Africa for
heartwater in the Caribbean, and to commercialization within Africa.


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sheep, have recently made the jump veterinary pathologists, work in Their work is supported by funds
to humans. More than 2000 people UF's Veterinary Medical Center from federal (NIH and USDA) and
in the U.S. and Europe have now seeing and diagnosing actual cases international agencies (The
been infected with the human form of ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis in Wellcome Trust) and commercial
of these diseases. animal patients. The two collaborate companies such as IDEXX
with Abbott, also a pathologist, and Corporation, which licenses a
"Our background comes from Barbet, a molecular biologist, who di.,gi.- l: I. patent from the
studying these diseases in animals have discovered why it is difficult University of Florida.
for 20 to 30 years, way before the for the body to completely eliminate
disease in humans was recognized," these infections.
said Anthony Barbet, a professor of
infectious diseases with the college. "Our background
"When the human diseases were
becoming prevalent, we already comes from
knew the various approaches we
could take to study and diagnose studying these
these infections in people because
we had previously used them in diseases in
animal diseases."

The clinical presentations of these animals for 20 to
two distinct, potentially life-
threatening infections are fever, 30 years, way
headache, myalgia and other
nonspecific symptoms that are before the disease
difficult to diagnose. in hs
in humans was
"One interesting observation is that
people can be affected both with recognized."
Lyme disease and Anaplasma,
because they are transmitted by the
same tick,' Barbet said. "Some cases, "If cattle get infected
originally thought to be Lyme with Anaplasma
disease, are actually the human marginal, they re
versions of anaplasmosis.' infected for life,"
Barbet said. We've
In addition to Barbet, the rickettsial
disease group includes Rick organisms have a ver
organisms have a very
Alleman, Jeffrey Abbott, and complex method of
Heather Wamsley. antigenic variation. The reason
that the animal's immune system
Significant findings include does not get rid of these organisms
evelopig new cn ss is that they're constantly changing.
using PCRbased methods and new Barbet's group made this finding in
molecular approaches which may be animal infections some
applied in order to pinpoint human 5-10 years ago.
infections. In addition, the group Photo left: Dr ilWa ..ad
has found that animals may remain 'So when human infections starting Dr Anthony Barbel .janl, .~, .j wl, in.j
persistently infected even after emerging, we wondered if they had infection by fluole eL0 c nILC 11usLupy.
antibiotic treatment.
some similar disease systems and it
Alleman and Wamsley, both turns out they do,' Barbet said.

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coug on thei hands The diagnosis~ gav veernrin a6 aret
gryoud stre dyn fro the "I th*eeiaypoesow ad Wt h upi dniid
mytriu reprtr aimet no idetiie inlez as a caus of Crafor is now pusun research
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outbreaks led her to suspect a novel gave up private practice and returned positive for FIV antibodies during a
infectious agent, to her alma mater. Her first posting routine health screening, there is no
was in a laboratory for feline other test available to verify whether
"In the past, these outbreaks would immunodeficiency virus research and the antibodies are due to infection
shut down greyhound racing every her work in that area continues today. or vaccination.
five years or so," Crawford said. "But
they started occurring annually and Lately, Crawford and UF researcher "We now have a d.;lg'i.-:..
lasted for several weeks." Julie Levy have been working to dilemma," Crawford said. "The
I- InI I-,. is highly contagious, identify a cii.,i.-.- :. test that antibodies the cat makes when it is
especially for dogs kenneled in close accurately detects feline vaccinated are indistinguishable
quarters. It causes fever, coughing, immunodeficiency virus, or FIV, in from the antibodies the cat makes
nasal dc -i- .1. ., and pneumonia, when it is infected with FIV."
which can be fatal.
Crawford's research took on It is important to identify the
additional significance when canine infection because it is contagious
influenza surfaced in the pet dog and lifelong. FIV-infected cats
population in 2005. In one year, the need to be segregated from other
identification of infected dogs in cats to avoid spreading the virus,
three states spread to 25 states and la procedure particularly
the District of Columbia. important in shelter cat
populations. Shelter cats also face
'The involvement of dogs in euthanasia instead of adoption -
shelters, boarding kennels and -- if they test positive for FIV,
veterinary clinics across the making an accurate cl.igi .':..
country has more impact than test a life or death issue.
influenza in racing greyhounds,
Crawford said. 'Canine influenza is After three years, Crawford said, a
becoming endemic in the dog test to differentiate between
population and has already caused vaccinated and infected cats is no
great impact on t heir health and closer, but the work will continue.
welfare as well as having financially c i
and emotional impacts.' Crawford also directs the blood
Greyhounds have been dear to donor program at the UF
Crawford since her days as a veterinary teaching hospital,
student in the UF veterinary which provides blood products
college. 'I adopted my first for transfusion of their dog and
greyhound here,' said Crawford, cat patients. Her research is
who now owns three. supported by grants from the
cats. Cats infected with FIV are Winn Feline Foundation, Morris
The College of Veterinary Medicine usually d .,ig,.-- .,.1 by the presence of Trust Fund, Alachua County
has particular expertise in antibodies to the virus in their Department of Health and the
racehorses and racing greyhounds bloodstream, and the tests available Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering.
and is theonly veterinary college for detection of these antibodies are


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encephalitis, both in horses and genetic characteristics constitutes infectious diseases to constantly
people, adding a human component immunity," Long said. "Another threaten both humans and animals
to Long's research. The virus affects question is which mosquitoes feed of all types.
the central nervous system and on horses compared to birds and
symptoms can range from fever to which mosquitoes also share a taste "During the first couple of years, I
paralysis and death. for humans. We don't even know had vets with 30 and 40 years of
that basic information." A grant experience calling from all over the
"The level of infection in horses is funded by the charity of the Florida country, extremely upset over the
important, too, because it's an Derby Gala is assisting in research devastation they were seeing," said
indication of what people might face that consists of vacuuming Long, who has owned horses since
with the virus," Long said. "Horses mosquitoes directly off horses. she was 5 years old. "A lot of work
get the same diseases we do, so this still needs to be done; there still is
is an excellent model of a Although the emergency has passed no treatment. We still are
human/animal disease." powerless to assist people if their
horse does become sick.'
Lately, Long's research has spanned
all aspects of mosquito-borne Long said the West Nile virus
diseases from something as outbreak also afforded her the
standard as building a database to ses e opportunity to go deeper into basic
more complicated questions such science and collaborate with other
as why one horse dies and another UF experts on emerging diseases
survives. All cases of mosquito- like virologists Paul Gibbs (College
borne illness cl.In -- .1 in horses in of Veterinary Medicine), virologist
Florida are entered into a database James Maruniak (Entomology and
of information obtained from a Nematology), and entomologist
two-page questionnaire filled out Jonathan Day (Florida Medical
at the time of testing. Long and her Entomology Laboratory) studying
colleagues also have investigated e eLe t m o a transmission, vector, and disease
testing procedures for the Florida aspects. Other collaborations
Department of Agriculture and consist of work with scientists in
Consumer Services. This project the College of Medicine such as
looked at using recombinant Lucas Alexander (Cardiology),
viruses for testing that do not r Grant McFadden (Poxviruses),
require highly pathogenic West Paul Guilig (Microbiology) and
Nile virus -- technology that would Lyle Moldauer (Sepsis Models)
make surveillance and testing examining the pathogenesis of
more available. disease in the hope cld! ,., i ni, ,g
treatments.
Long's expansion into arboviruses in there were only a few cases of
general has resulted in widespread West Nile virus cases in Florida in 'Work with emerging pathogens
surveillance of horses throughout the 2005/2006 -- there still have been requires an approach that is team
state and research into the ecology of almost 200 cases of Eastern Equine based because one never knows what
arboviruses in Florida. A continued encephalitis virus reported in these unique situation these diseases will
focus is the individual horse and why past two years. pop-up in that requires expertise we
disease occurs in 10 percent of never previously needed or even
exposed horses, while the other 90 Arboviruses are always present in knew about,' Long said.
percent do not develop symptoms. Florida with disease activity
peaking on a cyclical basis every
"We need to explore questions like three to five years. Florida is also an Photo left: Dr Maureen Long has
what makes a protected horse, why important import state with helped UF to become a leader
the virus goes to the brain, what weather conditions causing new in West Nile Virus research in horses.


Infectious Diseases www vetmed ufl edu
















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eradication campaigns for transmission because of increased In 2005, Gibbs received the
rinderpest, which scientists e global trade and tourism, among Wooldridge Medal for his
expect will be eradicated in 2010 other things. "SARS came out of contributions to emerging diseases
as smallpox was in 1980. In 1974, China, for instance, through the Hong and was invited to address the
he worked with the CDC in Kong economic gateway," he said. British Veterinary Association.
Colorado and Texas on Venezuelan
equine encephalitis. Recently, Gibbs has helped to During a recent trip to Vietnam,
develop Web-based training Gibbs was able to look at the
A UF College of Veterinary materials on emerging diseases for emergence of avian influenza
Medicine faculty member since the Florida's State Agricultural (H5N1) and its spread to citizens in
1979, Gibbs served as director of Response Team and for science that country. "Our studies at UF
the university's International Center teachers in middle and high schools have relevance to the studies of
and UF's chief international officer in Florida. He also collaborates H5N1; comparative virology is
from 1995-1999. In addition to with the University of Edinburgh on important," he said.
assisting the peace process in the a Web-based master's degree course
Middle East, he developed the on International Animal Health for But while Gibbs sees himself today
World Citizenship program, veterinarians in Africa. Together as a sounding board for governments
through which UF students with graduate student Tara both in the U.S. and overseas -
perform internships with Non- Anderson, Gibbs is helping the someone who can offer advice and
Governmental Organizations college develop a combined fresh approaches to understanding
around the world on projects in DVM/MPH degree, due to start in the epidemiology of disease he
health, education, economic fall of 2007. reminds himself of the perspective of
stability, nutrition and agriculture, the individual farmer or animal
Today's highly visible and oft- owner. He often returns in his mind
Gibbs is as intrigued now as he was publicized emerging pathogens, to the first time he had to tell
in his early career with the history including avian influenza, canine someone that every animal on the
of disease and the factors, both influenza and West Nile virus, are farm was going to be slaughtered.
biological and social, that promote all areas to which Gibbs has
their emergence. Many of his contributed at UF, both through his "I remember everything about that
research projects have focused on the teaching efforts and by mentoring or day, right down to the details of the
development of effective vaccines, assisting other faculty members and farm kitchen," Gibbs said. "I learned
graduate students in their research. that the control of any epidemic is at
"To know how to control disease, Anderson, who is jointly supervised best, controlled chaos. But as I
you've got to recognize the agent with immunology and infectious reflect on that day, I have come to
involved, characterize it, and disease specialist Cynda Crawford, value the importance of the
develop strategies of control," Gibbs is developing tests that can veterinary oath, a part of which
said. "In some parts of the world, differentiate between dogs that have affirms that we as veterinarians
you just can't afford to have a been vaccinated from those infected should use our scientific knowledge
stamping out program because you'd with canine influenza, and skills for the benefit of society
be depriving the community from through the protection of animal
the protein that is coming from that "This type of study has great health. On that day in 1967, I
animal population." relevance to the entire field of recognized we had failed that family
disease control as vaccination is a far whose animals had become infected
Helping the developing world is preferable tool to control an with FMD. You might say, my
critical to protecting the epidemic than is stamping out," career got its direction that day."
industrialized nations of Europe and Gibbs said, adding that he enjoyed
North America, because many of the working with infectious disease
emerging diseases of global concern specialist Maureen Long and others Photo left: Dr Paul Gibbs is shown with
originate in developing countries, on a clinical trial that recently led members of the Maasai tribe in Kenya in
Gibbs added. Furthermore, he sees to both licensing and marketing October 2005. Gibbs' visit was in conjunction
social, economic and political of a recombinant West Nile vaccine with the distance learning program he is involved
change as affecting disease to prevent disease in horses. with through the University of Edinburgh.


Infectious Diseases www vetmed ufl edu









U University of Florida
immunologist Janet Yamamoto
says the feline immunodeficiency
virus, or FIV, has biological
similarities to human
immunodeficiency virus, or HIV,
and those similarities could yield
advances in efforts to develop an
HIV vaccine.


"We are working on a new
generation of feline vaccines that
actually are made with HIV
proteins," said Yamamoto, who
directs the Laboratory of
Comparative Immunology and
Retrovirology at UF's College of
Veterinary Medicine. "We've found
that HIV proteins are closely related
to FIV proteins and are useful in
developing an FIV vaccine, so that
leads us to ask whether FIV proteins
can help humans."

Immunodeficiency viruses have "a
good side and a bad side," Yamamoto
said. People are familiar with the
bad, which leads to AIDS, a disease
that has killed 22 million people
worldwide since it was identified in
1981, n. ..1 .lIg to United Nations
estimates. Yamamoto said the virus


Could cats,


rather than dogs,


be man's best friend?




When it comes


to AIDS research,


the answer might be yes.











likes to hide its "good" side, which similar to FIV that it is usable in a Yamamoto spent much of 2004 and
provides protection against disease, feline vaccine. And since cats can't will spend more time in 2005
making it very difficult to isolate it. get infected with HIV, the HIV collaborating with colleagues at the
But in people and cats who have proteins that promote disease in University of California at San
an immunodeficiency virus for years humans do nothing to cats. Francisco and the University of
without getting ill, the virus' good Pittsburgh, as part of her strong
side is at work. These people and Since the reverse is also true belief that teamwork will be the key
cats are called long-term humans can't get FIV she would to further breakthroughs on
nonprogressors and the strains they like to continue her work by looking immunodeficiency viruses. Her
carry may provide a key to for FIV strands that trigger an vaccine work has been funded with
prevention, therapy or even a cure immune response in humans more than $3.4 million in grants
for the disease. without promoting the disease. from the National Institutes of
Health since 1989. She also has
The work is painstaking. Imagine "It was important to find out that funded her research with more than
that FIV and HIV are long ribbons. HIV proteins are so closely related $1 million in royalties from her
One section of the ribbon may to FIV proteins," Yamamoto said. patents, including the patent on the
contain elements that cause disease "Hopefully, I can contribute to the Fel-O-Vax FIVTM, which is marketed
or accelerate it. But the flip side of human vaccine with my model." by Fort Dodge Animal Health, a
that section of ribbon may be "good" division of Wyeth pharmaceuticals.
and hold elements that provide Selecting the right strains to trigger
protection against disease or retard immunity in cats is much easier than Yamamoto said she uses her patent
the disease. Then imagine five FIV doing so with humans. As money to explore ideas. When an
ribbons and two HIV ribbons. Yamamoto said, "In cats, we could idea bears fruit, she seeks grants.
immunize and watch. But there are "NIH funding is taxpayer money, so
Researchers have found five distinct no laboratory humans." we need to repay it with discovery."
subtypes of FIV, each with its own
characteristics that had to be Yamamoto believes that tests with She personally repays some of her
understood and studied before people who already have HIV would laboratory cats, veterans of bone
moving forward on a vaccine. The show whether a vaccine developed marrow transplants, by i" .11- g a
protective properties in the from FIV could be useful as therapy home for them. But she would like
subtypes had to be combined in and perhaps eventually useful in a to see her feline studies pay off
numerous ways to bring out the human vaccine, for people.
most protective combination while
suppressing the harmful properties. "We have identified, so far, three "Seeing animals and people live
regions of FIV that are similar to longer, that's why we do this work,"
"We were about to give up on an HIV-1, and these FIV regions could Yamamoto said. "I enjoy seeing my
FIV vaccine when we combined be tested with immune cells from concept and products help. It's
subtype A and subtype D," people who have HIV," Yamamoto applied research. I believe the cats
Yamamoto said. "The overlap of said. "If these regions are recognized can benefit not only cats, but
those two gave us the protection we by the immune cells from people people, too."
were seeking." with HIV, it would suggest that
those regions may be useful as
Cats can't get HIV infection, so components for HIV vaccines for
Yamamoto now is researching ways non-infected humans. However,
to use the protective elements of more studies are needed not only in
HIV in a feline vaccine. Her research cats but also in monkeys to
found a protective section of HIV determine the significance of these
that provides better immunity for FIV regions as components for
cats than the protective sections of HIV vaccines." Photo left: Dr Janet Yamamoto's work on FIV
FIV. This section of HIV is so often intersects with research on HIV



Clincal 0 www vetmed ufl edu





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Nollens, who said the Navy where do we go from here?' There of the fact sheet. We were able to
approached him about the project was nothing available in terms of draw some pretty interesting
while he was completing his Ph.D. d !.(g,-,- t i: ," Nollens said. "There is conclusions that had practical value.
at UF in 2005. clearly a need for someone to fill in For example, we were able to show
this gap by supplementing was that pox disease is very
"That's why I'm here, and because traditional dcl.,gr.-. 't, I .. with more common in the wild, so if someone
of the close collaborations," Nollens modern cd !.. -.i-, .: such as is rehabilitating an animal and it
said. "The Hubbs-SeaWorld molecular assays and microarrays." comes down with the disease, that
Research Institute is a research does not mean the animal is now
partner of SeaWorld and they said I Molecular assays such as polymerase unreleaseable."
was welcome to locate a lab in their chain reaction (PCR) have
facilities in San Diego. And both revolutionalized viral cd.,,-. '- I -. in These days, Nollens spends four
SeaWorld and the Navy house a other species as well, Nollens said. weeks in his laboratory at San
collection of marine mammals here." Diego, where he spends a lot of time
"Before the advent of PCR, viruses screening samples, and one week at
Nollens always had an interest in could only be detected with Florida, where he works closely
both marine biology and veterinary relatively insensitive methods such with Jacobson's wildlife disease
medicine, but because he was based as culture and electron microscopy, laboratory, with the Hybridoma
in Belgium, marine biology was "not but now with PCR, we quite Core laboratory at the College of
necessarily a valuable degree." frequently recognize new viruses in Medicine and with colleagues in the
these less well-studied animals," he College of Veterinary Medicine's
So after completing his veterinary said. "Even just 25 years marine mammal program.
degree there, he left for New ago, people thought the ocean was a
Zealand to pursue his master's sterile environment. Now we know "I really wear three hats," Nollens
degree in marine biology and began that is not the case at all." said. "I wear my veterinarian, my
his quest to consolidate and enhance virologist and my marine biologist
his knowledge in both subjects. As a Although a typical Ph.D. student hats and they keep each other in
graduate student, he worked on a addresses questions of a more line. They make sure I don't drift too
disease in abalone of concern to the academic nature, Nollens said his far from the applied questions
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Well-meaning citizens have infection, Mycoplasma bovis, in both can ask and answer a lot of
compounded the problem, Brown dairy and feedlot calves and is questions," Brown said. "Some
said. In one study site in Duval studying the role of antigenic strains of rats are more susceptible
County, people were releasing variation in virulence. She recently to adverse pregnancy outcome, so
tortoises displaced by development of completed the complete genome we will look into which genes are
a Li-'.1'- i .-'.ri The newcomer sequencing of the mycoplasma turned on in the placenta of those
tortoises were sick with respiratory strain used in her laboratory's rats and when they are turned on
mycoplasmosis, which swept quickly infection studies and will be and turned off.
through the existing gopher tortoise comparing that strain's genome to
population at the release site. the genome of a less virulent strain "The data would help humans and
in order to develop molecular animals, and that makes it a win-
"This was a prime example of what epidemiological studies, as well as to win," Brown said.
happens when an acute disease identify targets for possible vaccines
comes through a population," Brown and improved dich.,gi.- .-t tests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture
said. "We are seeing very sick has funded yet another study of
animals and increased deaths. Some On the human side, women stand to mycoplasmal disease in food and
females also appear not to be benefit from Brown's research. fiber animals. In dairy cows, for
producing eggs. Loss of Mycoplasma can take up residence instance, the bacteria cause mastitis.
reproductive-age adults, decreased in the urogenital tract, causing a In young calves, a mycoplasmal
reproductive rates and the low variety of problems. infection can lead to severe disease
survival rate of young tortoise and sometimes even death, and
hatchlings combine to make it very Brown has been awarded a National is an important herd cost for
hard for a tortoise population to Institutes of Health grant to study dairy farmers.
recover from a population crash." the role of mycoplasma in recurrent
urinary tract infections in women. "There are as many different species
Brown and her team worked with Her research is centered on finding of mycoplasma as there are hosts,"
regulatory agencies, state parks and the factors that dispose some Brown said. "All these projects
water management districts to do a women to recurrent infections as require large teams, a real team
statewide survey of habitat status opposed to one-time infection and approach. Science is not done in
and changes in the gopher tortoise whether mycoplasma plays a role in a vacuum."
population. She and the team also an exaggerated inflammatory
developed a d. I -... i: test for the response to an infection. She is also Brown likes to share her success at
presence of mycoplasma. studying whether there are genetic getting grants by helping graduate
factors in a woman's susceptibility students and other young
Her work with the threatened to urinary infecti.'-r, ri :c. ii: .1lCt.ri '.ai t .,-f thlir
species attracted a $2.2 million .' For IIML, that. .- '... '.in ..
grant from the National Science Women also cou -..12n II .in" .1 i.'.l. Lhe l[aIL ".I ,-,
Foundation to support further on mycoplasma iL., iI.-.in I i tI -Ii
investigation. genital tract and :hi, .I-, i .- Vh,-, I vA.t- h Lthe I '. clipmleit of
pregnancyloss ar,'.l i..L LI iii: th C \cii- ILr-tit Bic'- n ir -.iid
"We're just beginning to understand i .,, il W.A2n, ha. in,. .1 bIc Lr .,,
the diseases in wildlife that are In that study, Br.- 1-1- i ILI -t'-11-.11i
caused by mycoplasma," Brown said. whether loss of -i i,,' .,-... I- the
"It's a very adaptive organism." body's response I:., 'h i !, lcIL,.: -i, Hle
eventual goal is .: .-, I. L I 1.- >I.. 1: t1 -1.. 1
Brown received additional funding to screen womer, Il.-., i' .''' I-.... t-,,,., ir Maj, Brun, ii,. ,ii-I h nih .., t
recently from the Department of In the meantime .-.i lI, -2 .--i [, k,.rn W'endlajid 1-0: I:1 iLiiii 11- ,.Ie
Defense to work on a model of a an animal sri.-,'.I I LI- ..-.1 1-lc :I .l i.., 4 C.ii plj'nia .j: I rjIi IIt..J11u
potentially threatening disease with ri-... ''.1. r-ii.i tlhal had i'ir.ad ap .jd'i, jiln..iI Fij I. ,d
organism in cattle and goats. She aUphe' I., I..:.,.- a :.i..' i ,r iiii.
also is working a re-emerging "Once we .-,.i -h ti l I d- m.-iJ. V


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University of Florida wildlife the mid-1980s, when turtles with Jacobson and Stacy also have begun
and zoological medicine the bizarre growths began showing work on yet another problem
professor Elliott Jacobson is the go- up at a hospital in Marathon. plaguing sea turtles. Somewhere on
to guy for people who want to help Jacobson and then-graduate student their roundtrip between Florida and
ailing reptiles, including endangered Laurence Herbst discovered herpes the Mediterranean, the animals are
turtles at sea and tortoises on land. virus in the tumors. Now the picking up deadly parasites.
Jacobson has been working on director of the Institute for Animal
outbreaks of disease in captive and Studies at Albert Einstein College "Sea turtles have the most unique
wild reptiles since 1975. The plight of Medicine in New York, Herbst is migration pattern of any animal on
of these creatures has taken investigating a link between the the planet," Jacobson said. "They
Jacobson from the Florida Keys to virus and the tumors. travel from here to the Mediterranean
the Mohave Desert. and back, and sometimes it takes 10
Loggerhead sea turtles are declining to 20 years to complete that
Jacobson has seen sea turtles with in population in Florida and disease migration. These parasites don't exist
fibropapillornatosis grotesque may be a contributing factor. Several in the Canary Islands, so that's an
tumors that are benign in mortality events have been seen over important part of this puzzle. The sea
themselves but kill when they cover the last five years and Jacobson, turtles are picking up the parasites
the eyes or mouth or interfere with along with graduate student Brian when they come back."
the motion of flippers. Jacobson and Stacy, has been trying to determine
his colleagues began working on the cause of these die-offs. Necropsies have shown clusters of
fibropapillornatosis in sea turtles in parasites in the brain, but Jacobson










and Stacy are just beginning With 260 species of turtles
research to find out where the and tortoises, most in decline,
parasites come from. more research and
collaboration is needed,
Outbreaks of mycoplasmosis in Jacboson said.
the desert tortoise have taken
Jacobson to the Mojave Desert in We're seeing an extreme
California, where that species is loss of quality habitat for
also in decline. Soon after, the these animals,' Jacobson said.
problem cropped up closer to "As populations dwindle,
home when Florida gopher those populations will need
tortoises began contracting the to be more intensely managed.
respiratory ailment. The research Outbreaks of disease in
used in the desert tortoise studies wild populations can have
was applied to the gopher devastating consequences
tortoises and the presence of the. small areas of remaining
mycoplasma was detected. habitat. One of the most
Important outcomes of our
Previously unrecognized emerging work is to bring attention
disease is impacting reptile to these issues and
populations around the globe and educate people."
Jacobson is one of the few
veterinarians studying these
outbreaks. For instance, a die-off Photo left: Dr Elliott Jacobson works
off box turtles in the eastern with snakes and other reptiles
United States and gopher both clinically and in his research.
tortoises in Florida may be due to
a ranavirus that was identified in collaborating on the project with
his laboratory. the Archie Carr Center for Sea

Unlike veterinarians who treat -, i ThI I.r
better-known domestic animals, .,,,-, Wil., ,- I I-.
wildlife veterinarians often have -..11,- 1n an II- ii' i 1 .YI LI I
little of even the most basic
information, and that is where I..,, ,,,-,:i. i .-, I -'L,,-
Jacobson's work begins. -I,-,-, t k







these animals. and his laboratory has been on
the forefront of developing the
'We're in the process of building a PCR primers neede,.l-I I" I-I, l
database on blood values for sea identifications. His .2'. .I.d.l:
turtles in Florida and around the students, who will I- L 11%c I I
world, so we will know the next generation of ril ..Ie i.ii
biochemical components of their ., .,,., are ., -. r, h I
blood,' said Jacobson, who is this work.



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parasitology


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C.irlo- Romnro
emerging '. viruses
emerging viruses


Hendrik Nollens
infectious diseases,
marine mammals


Arthur Alleman
rickettsial diseases


Ruth Francis-Floyd
aquatic animal health


Steeve Giguere
equine medicine,
infectious diseases


p ~ ~ '' II'" II,,, 1,


aquatic birds.
aquatic birds


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immunology


R.imir o I .

animals, public health


ElliOtt I.. olspeon

wildlife, exotic species


Jorge Hernandez
epidemiology


Maureen Long
arboviruses


Rob MacKay
equine medicine,
infectious diseases


Julie Levy
feline infectious
diseases, feral animals


www.vetmed.ufl.edu


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For more information about the University of Florida

College of Veterinary Medicine, please contact:


Office of the Dean .................. ....................................... (352) 392-4700, Ext. 5000
Office of Development and Alumni Affairs ................ .............. (352) 392-4700, Ext. 5200
Office of Public Relations/Publications ............ ................. (352) 392-4700, Ext. 5206
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies ...........................(352) 392-4700, Ext. 5100
Associate Dean for Students and Instructions ................ .............. (352) 392-4700, Ext. 5300
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences ................ ............... (352) 392-4700, Ext. 5700
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences ................ ............... (352) 392-4700, Ext. 5600
Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology ................ ............(352) 392-4700, Ext. 3900
Department of Physiological Sciences ................... ................... (352) 392-4700, Ext. 3800







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